Pub regular helps licensee win pie competition

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags City pub company Cooking

McNiven: won with customer's help
McNiven: won with customer's help
A Liverpool pub won Town and City Pub Company's 2011 Pie Competition thanks to the help of a regular. Customer and amateur cook Gill Armstrong...

A Liverpool pub won Town and City Pub Company's 2011 Pie Competition thanks to the help of a regular.

Customer and amateur cook Gill Armstrong worked with licensee of the Grapes Hotel in Formby Julie McNiven to create a country ham, cheese and spinach pie.

The pie, which beat seven other regional finalists, will be on the company's spring menu in time for National Pie Week (7 to 13 March).

During the final in London on 19 January the eight finalists cooked their entry for a panel of industry experts.

McNiven and Armstrong won a night at a top restaurant and hotel of their choice within the UK.

"When the competition was announced I mentioned it to Gill who is a fantastic cook," said McNiven. "We decided to enter and put our heads together to come up with a pie that was commercially viable, but that was also different from others you usually see on a menu," said Julie. "Gill went away and tried the pie out a few times and each time it tasted even better".

"It will be quite amazing to see our pie on pub menus up and down the country", she added.

Toby Smith, CEO of Town and City Pub Company, said: "The pie submitted by Julie and one of her customers, Gill, was truly delicious. It will make a perfect addition to our spring menu.

"We always like to engage customer opinion on our food and drinks, so its quite something to this year take it one step further and be able to put one our customers' pies actually on the menu."

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